Every year the debate rages on. Which district wrestling tournament is the state’s toughest?
In MSHSAA’s large-class division, there hasn’t been much of an argument After all, Kansas City programs had claimed 19 consecutive state championship team trophies since 1998 until Christian Brothers College High School ended the streak last season.
Despite that, it appears the KC metro event will once again be the Show-Me State’s most challenging state-qualifying tourney. Three of the top-five ranked teams in the MissouriWrestling.com poll – No. 1 Liberty, No. 2 Park Hill and No. 5 Staley – will in action this weekend at Oak Park High School for the Class 4 District 4 Championships with 37 individually ranked competitors in the loaded field.
“This obviously is the most important time of the year,” Liberty head coach Dustin Brewer said. “This is what it’s all about. This is why we do what we do. All the work we’ve put in and all the strategy we’ve put into training at practice, now we get to showcase that.”
Brewer’s up-and-coming team that has arrived much sooner than anticipated, which features a blend of youth and experience, has been the best in the state all season. However, if the nationally ranked Blue Jays (No. 13 by Intermat.com) hope to claim their first district team title since 2002, they’re going to have to beat out two of the state’s best.
Park Hill (nationally ranked No. 15 by Intermat.com) captured six state championships in eight years from 2009 to 2016, while Staley stood on top of the mountain in 2017. The two perennial powers finished second and third respectively last year.